Scottish Premier League

Fans' group seek to buy Hearts

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Mon, 10 Jun 2013 11:43:00

Simon Mignolet is willing to stay at Sunderland for the remainder of his two-year contract, according to his agent.

The Black Cats goalkeeper has been linked with a move away from the Stadium of Light this summer with a host of clubs interested in the Belgium international.

But Mignolet's agent Guy Vandersmissen admits that the decision rests with Sunderland as the 24-year-old has two years remaining on his current deal.

Vandersmissen told ESPN: At this moment there are some clubs who are interested but Simon still has a two-year contract so we depend on the position that Sunderland is taking in relation to an eventual transfer.

"There is a contract so we have to respect the contract. But I don't think at this moment we would be prepared to sign a new contract. When there is a new contract the team can block a player.

"There are another two years on his contract, if they want us to stick to that, we will stick to that and perhaps leave after two years if there is an interest in Simon."

Despite those comments, Vandersmissen has also left the door open to a contract extension at some point in the future - if Sunderland's situation improves.

He added: "If they want to make a proposal to Simon, they should come up with a decent proposal and we will then have a look at it.

"I would say four or five months ago we talked but the situation for Sunderland was not that good.

"It was not clear that they would have enough quality to stay in the Premiership so it was not the right moment to discuss or sign a new contract because we didn't want to start up in the Championship next season."

The Foundation of Hearts hope to put together a deal to buy the financially-stricken club from owner Vladimir Romanov.

And their efforts have been buoyed by the news that all four goalscorers from the 2012 5-1 Scottish Cup final win over city rivals Hibernian have vowed to support their cause.

Rudi Skacel, Danny Grainger, Darren Barr and Ryan McGowan have given their backing and the Foundation is confident it will soon be able to lodge a formal offer.

The Edinburgh outfit's recent money woes have included staving off a winding-up order in December after supporters raised more than ?1million to help pay off tax debts.

A ?450,000 bill was paid off while Hearts agreed to settle a separate demand by paying ?1.5million over three years.

However, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will learn today whether it has been successful with another petition for a winding-up order after Hearts failed to settle a separate ?100,000 bill.

Ian Murray, independent chair of the Foundation of Hearts, said: "The momentum is growing, and this latest milestone provides a real sense that we're preparing to enter a crucial phase in terms of converting pledges to cash, and beginning the process of making a formal offer to the board.

"I'm absolutely delighted that iconic figures such as the goalscorers from last year's Scottish Cup final are backing our ambitions to have Heart of Midlothian Football Club owned by the people who love and cherish it best - the fans.

"I can't thank them and all the pledgers enough for their support."

The Foundation will hold a question and answer session with fans at Tynecastle on Friday and Murray added: "Myself and the full Foundation of Hearts team are looking forward to meeting several hundred supporters on Friday night when we'll answer every question put to us."

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